Is Zuckerberg An Evil Capitalist Pig Who Owes Money To Journalists?

Orren Prunckun
4 min readFeb 18, 2021


News outlets (yes, including those well before the internet existed) make their money in 1 of 3 ways: 1) advertising 2) pay-per-use (yes, subscriptions come under this category) 3) or a combination of 1 & 2.

If you sell advertising, you need a lot of eyeballs.

To get a lot of eyeballs you need to be first and/or controversial (Yellow Journalism has been around for 100+ years, just go read The Brass Check).

If you sell pay-per-use, you need to publish “quality” content.

To publish “quality” content you need to have a unique story (or take on an existing story).

If you have no idea what you are doing, you do a combination of both — sell advertising, make users pay to read and publish the same story as every other new outlet.

No one wins — not the advertiser, not the consumers and certainly not the news outlet.

Some do the first well, very few do the second well, and the third is where we find ourselves in Australia.

Facebook makes its money purely from advertising.

So, they need eyeballs.

Zucks has accumulated 1.7 billion of them, which no media outlet comes close too.

Not only that, he has segmented those 1.7 billion people in hundreds-of-thousands slivers (I know, I build software on Facebook Marketing API and I have access to them).

That data makes it a very attractive proposition for advertisers to abandon news outlets and send their money to Zucks lap via a massive money cannon.

To get a lot of eyeballs on a social network you need people’s network to be there also. He won that battle a long time ago.

When people and their mates get other they shares, in the form on content.

The Australian Federal Government wants Zacks to pay for his users to access online news outlets.

This is where logic goes out the window…

Facebook is a book of faces (profiles), literally.

Facebook doesn’t produce content, it merely hosts it.

Want to argue with me?

Who posted on your profile?

You and your mates did, not Zucks.

Without users and without content it is just a book, an electronic one, with blank pages.

Now, if a user posts a link to news outlet, in ye olde pre-internet times, that was called a citation.

It happens in books all the time — ya know a bibliography.

And in internet land, putting aside search engine result pages, a link (one that is clicked) is an eyeball.

That is very valuable to the website being linked to.

Remember before, if you have eyeballs, you can sell advertising or you can sell pay-per-use regardless of it you sell news or dildos.

Also, remember that Zucks normally charges advertisers for posting links

So, if you are getting eyeballs for free from Zucks, that you are then trying capitalizing on through 1) advertising or 2) pay-per-use, you keep your mouth shut and ride the wave till it ends and then jump on TikTik or whatever else happens to be the place where people congregate online at the time (back in the day it was camp fires in caves).

What you DON’T do is make the person sending you free eyeballs (via The Australian Federal Government) pay you to get eyeballs.

That is bat-shit crazy.

And what you get is Zucks giving you the middle finger.

Losing (he won’t — remember all those Americans who threatened to leave USA for Canada when Trump was elected?) a possible (maximum) 13 million Australian users is nothing out of 1.7 billion.

He is a genius and has done the sums — no rolling the dice to move his mice.

That is how it works: journalists getting paid fairly, you wanting to read news on Facebook, Facebook needing to be regulated, blah blah blah is distraction from reality of microeconomics an value creation.

I have laid out the blueprint for what news outlets need to do.

Zucks can do whatever he wants — you ticked the box (you know the one you didn’t read) when you signed up to the account — it’s laid out in black-and-white right there.

The Australian federal government needs to stop pandering to technophobes and old money.

And more importantly, WE need to stop consuming dot com era click bait because we have the desire to fuel escapism and perversion.

The image was clickbait — I told you we were the problem ;-)



Orren Prunckun

Entrepreneur. Australia Day Citizen of the Year for Unley. Recognised in the Top 50 Australian Startup Influencers.